Völur – Disir (Prophecy Productions)Thursday, 7th July 2016
Völur is a Toronto-based band with one song title in all German, another in Norwegian, who is signed to a German label (Prophecy Productions), and whose bass player also does time in prominent retro rockers Blood Ceremony Talk about ‘yer mixed bag, eh? And let’s make it even more complicated: Disir was originally self-released in 2014, with the mighty Prophecy seeing fit to give it proper release under their always-reliable umbrella. Therefore, it’s suitable that Völur are one of those fringe doom bands toying with the occult premise, thus making Disir all the more perplexing of a listen.
Long-form doom this would be, with the four songs here clocking in at over 42-minutes. The prominent use of violin gives Völur a somber, if not sometimes exotic angle, but don’t confuse such violin work with what My Dying Bride has made a career out of. Rather, it ends up crossing paths on opener “Es wächst aus seinem Grab,” with a fiddle, making for an unexpected folk meeting. “The Deep-Minded” fares much better, employing a classic Sabbath plod, with again, the violins doing all of the heavy lifting in what could best be described as a desolate meeting between doom and post-metal. “White Phantom” drops down to mellow territory, while “Heiemo” employs an elongated build to a crescendo that never quite takes place.
Prophecy has had quite the run of success taking chances on bands who hang around the periphery of metal’s respective sub-genres, but Völur simply cannot get into gear it seems. Yeah, sure, Disir is an esoteric, occasionally bedazzling listen, yet there’s nothing to grip to, let alone any real takeaways from an album that is best described as unfocused.